Skipping the South Rim

5/11/2014

Heading north we decided to make a detour and attempt again to enter the South Rim Grand Canyon this time from the eastern entrance. We camped a few miles outside the entrance gate planning to get up and go on in the morning. But…the next morning, as we were sitting in the LWV eating breakfast, I looked out the window, and calmly said to Fred. “It’s snowing outside.”

Within minutes, the snow was falling heavily and blowing everywhere. As we were back on a dirt forest service road, we quickly finished our breakfast, shoved our gear here and there, and scurried down the mountain, again, away from the Grand Canyon.

Vermilion Cliffs here we come!

But first a few stops along the way.

 

Navaho Nation
Painted Desert in the Navaho Nation Lands

 

Driving up 89, we took a little side trip into Tuba City. So glad we did this, as the drive was beautiful!! We gratefully filled up with gas while there.

Latter, back on 89 again, we stopped at the Little Colorado River Gorge Navaho Tribal Park. Enjoyed these beautiful deep canyon views, and did a bit of impromptu shopping from the Navaho Artisan Booths selling custom arts, jewelry, pottery, and beadwork.

 

Immerse vertical cliffs down a steep canyon gorge
Little Colorado River Canyon

 

Came upon this…The Navaho Bridge.

 

Navaho Bridge
The Navaho Bridge

 

The bridge on the left is the original bridge built in 1929. It is now closed to vehicle traffic and is open for pedestrians to walk across and peer down almost 500 feet below to the Colorado River .

 

The Colorado River
Colorado River

 

As proof that we did indeed walk across even though the wind was blowing heartily, here is Fred and Pia.

 

Fred & Pia on the Navaho Bridge
Fred & Pia on the Navaho Bridge

 

No kidding…No jumping. We could hardly even look down!!!

 

IMG_9619
Duh!!

 

We weren’t the only ones in the area. These majestic California Condors, once extinct in the wild, now thrive here on the ledges of the Vermilion Cliffs.  They have been bred in captivity and released in remote areas not far from here.  We saw at least six different birds while visiting, including one juvenile. (Obvious because the young birds have dark heads.)

 

California Condors

 

Turning at the Navaho Bridge, we headed 6 miles up this scenic road to Lee’s Ferry…

 

IMG_9621
Rock Sculpture Along the Vermillion Cliffs

 

Enjoyed these amazing cliffs…

 

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A Few Little Pebbles Laying Around

 

Meandered among these tumbled down rocks…

 

IMG_9662 - Version 2
Putting Things in Perspective

 

And realized how small we are compared to Mother Nature.  Yes… that’s our LWV there below the shadow of the rock.

 

IMG_9666 - Version 2
Solitude is a Word

 

A last breathtaking view…before winding up here…

 

IMG_9702
Paria Beach on the Colorado River

 

At Paria Beach, where the amazing Paria River joins the mighty Colorado River.  After a nice hike, and a bit of doggy play, we camped at Lee’s Ferry Campground, and were wooed to sleep once again by the ferocious songs of the crazy blowing winds.

 

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